Birthdays have been marketing opportunities for a very long time. I remember getting an annual coupon for a free ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins on my birthday, and I looked forward to that almost as much as my mom’s birthday cake (which she made with mayonnaise, which is a whole other story).

Every year on my birthday, I geek out a bit by paying attention to who either noticed or remembered, and is using the date to give me something (in exchange for buying something, of course). I’ve lost track of how many businesses know my birthday via some kind of registration form. And if you follow me on Facebook, it’s right there on my profile page as well. So birthdays today aren’t really a secret.

What’s surprising to me, however, is how few B2B companies leverage birthdays to market and sell. Yes, it’s easier and perhaps more obvious to give birthday celebrants a free ice cream cone or appetizer or latte. I’ll probably bring my family, buy more stuff, etc.

But if you’re courting my B2B business, wouldn’t it be cool if you just remembered? For those engaged in B2B social media programs, where your brand has however many followers on Facebook, wouldn’t it be cool to send individual followers a simple “we remember, and celebrate with you” message?

It’s not going to close a deal on that day. It’s not really related to what they’re buying, either. But it’s part of the relationship-building process. It shows you care. And it comes from a company I want to do business with, a company that remembers and prioritizes the little things to delight their customers.